Cannon Bubble

Author: SirClive
Publisher: Computer Emuzone
Machine: Spectrum 128K

Published in RGCD #2

The Spectrum finally gets a long overdue Bust-A-Move clone!

Cannon Bubble

"The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do. For instance, you can accept that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can't. But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you'll have to square with that some day."

And that day is today as we look at a game usually associated with jolly little dinosaur brothers rather than cut throat mutineers and Jolly Rogers.

The game in question is the latest release from Spanish coders CEZ Team and to quote the most famous pirate of them all "I think we've all arrived at a very special place. Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically".

Cannon Bubble

Anyone who has played Puzzle Bobble or Bust a Move will immediately grasp the gameplay, but for the uninitiated you simply need to fire coloured bubbles up the screen to make groups of three, which will promptly burst and disappear. Clear the screen of bubbles and the level is over. The various patterns of bubbles that appear provide plenty of variety and require a keen eye, pixel perfect skill and a smidge of strategy if you are to avoid the bubbles touching the bottom of the screen and the dreaded Game Over.

When making a 'tribute' to a classic game you generally have two options, you try to add to it and make it better than before (though this usually has disastrous consequences) or you dress it up in fancy new clothes. CEZ made the wise decision to make an utterly faithful version (the only real difference to the Playstation's Bust a Move is that there are less bubbles on screen) and have picked a theme that we all love - Pirates. Loading the game immediately gives an idea of the quality of the product with a lovely loading screen and an even better menu. The game is 128k only, so you are treated to a great modern interpretation of a pirate tune. In the one-player game you play through the levels admiring the various backdrops that reward you every 6 or 7 levels. The in game music is very well done and the victory and death tunes are a particular highlight.

You are also treated to a great two-player version where you battle against an opponent to clear your bubbles before they clear theirs, but since I was cruelly made to walk the plank and have been aimlessly drifting around the Caribbean on a hollowed out sea turtle shell for the last 6 months without human companionship (and the parrot cheats), I haven't been able to sample it to the full.

To quote Captain Jack Sparrow one last time "Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate" and quite right he is too; sometimes it is a colour-clashed collection of pixels and some damn fine gameplay, like the bounteous haul we have here.

(When I submitted this review I was asked to remove the Pirates of the Caribbean quotes, but I told the editor "I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request").


Other Spectrum 128K Game Reviews By SirClive

  • Stranded Front Cover
  • Farmer Jack In Harvest Havoc Front Cover
    Farmer Jack In Harvest Havoc
  • Stronghold Front Cover
  • Izzy Wizzy Front Cover
    Izzy Wizzy